Ok! If there’s one piece of advice I can give to any of you before you apply to teach at a public school in the UAE, it is this: it takes time. You will be waiting months not weeks to get on that plane. So be prepared. Patience is most definitely a virtue in this game.
You will scream, you will cry, you will question yourself and your decisions, you will look for ways out, you will change your mind, maybe two or three times, maybe more, you will panic, and you will do it all over again.
I wanted to write a post on this as a lot of people have asked me about it since I came here. I know how it feels being left in the dark as you go through it from beginning to end. Not knowing if, or when, the departure date will ever arrive. And I know a lot of you are in the same position now or may be in the same position sometime in the future.
So, I’ve decided to include a timeline of events from the moment I first applied. It’s something I wish I would have known when I started the whole process.
July 2016: Responded to an ad online
July 2016: Got offered an interview in London/Manchester
September 4th 2016: Received interview dates
November 5th 2016: Traveled to London for interview
November 9th 2016: Received initial contract offer
November 29th 2016: Sent on all required documents and forms (degrees, police cert, passport copy, references)
February 19th 2017: Received final contract offer
February 22nd 2017: Signed and sent final contract back
March 13th 2017: Confirmation email to say visa was ready
March 25th 2017: Departed Dublin to Abu Dhabi
It can be an exhausting process, but hang in there. Length of time won’t really vary much from recruiter to recruiter.
Keep yourself busy. If you’re not currently working, use the opportunity to build on other interests and skills. Hang out with family and friends. Explore and appreciate your own local area.
And try not to spend too much time stressing about the future. It will happen when it’s time.